MUSIC "This is where the heartbeat is. Does that sound cocky?" Shannon Shaw, bold-voiced singer and bassist from Oakland's Shannon and the Clams, is cautious how she answers my question. She's in a booth, finishing up her fries at Grubstake, just off of Polk Street. The eatery is my suggestion for a pre-performance chat about the band's new album, Sleep Talk (1-2-3-4 Go! Records), slated for release April 5.Read more »
MUSIC/CULTURE Normally, Irwin Swirnoff's demeanor is upbeat, and I'd consider him to be one of the friendliest people I know. But from the expression on his face, I thought someone had died. Even before walking into the room, I felt there was a weird vibe. "What's wrong?" I asked.
"We just got sold and were taken off the air," he replied.Read more »
MUSIC Imagine being an artist-musician type and juggling all your favorite things just to stay afloat. Considering the Guardian's demographic, it's probably not too hard to imagine. This could be you. I'm not saying I feel sorry for you; it actually sounds fun if you can make it work. But at the same time, it's got to be a constant hustle. That's exactly how it goes for KIT, a band that — with members based out of Los Angeles and Oakland — has the California coast on lockdown.Read more »
It should come as no surprise that a gay 30-year-old male living in the Bay Area who borrows elements of his fashion-forward look from Freddie Mercury is putting out the "gayest music ever." He's a Pisces who rocks a switchblade comb and blends leather daddy duds with a 1950s-meets-1980s juvenile delinquent touch.
Seth Bogart, a.k.a. Hunx, has been devoted to rock and trash pop culture for years. He made zines as a teen in Arizona when riot grrrl was happening, and has essentially created a life from his variety of enthusiasms.Read more »
MUSIC The morning of our scheduled interview, he sends me a text message, asking me to push things back a bit. Because he says he's been up until 5:30 a.m., I figured he's spent the previous night out being a bad bunny. But my assumptions are incorrect: the self-professed early bird known as Nobunny has stayed up late getting work done. The masked man, who now lives in Oakland, is out and about in San Francisco. I remain patient, knowing that he has plenty on his plate, including the release of his new album and an imminent European tour.Read more »
Going in to Thee Parkside on Fri/5, I didn’t know what to expect from the show’s openers. Considering Mom’s antics, it’s probably best that I didn’t do any pre-show research. In a nutshell, Mom was a mess. Read more »
MUSIC MLK's and Bobby Kennedy's assassinations, shaken confidence in Vietnam after a bloody and vengeful Tet Offensive, Haight-Ashbury's rapid dissolving into a breeding ground for lost and burned-out hippies pathetically clinging to the idyllic notion of a "Summer of Love," and a free Charles Manson settling in Laurel Canyon to plot the perverse and gruesome murders his "family" would soon commit. Yes, 1968 was the year the darkness had arrived. Read more »
PREVIEW Working its way through the ranks of punk rock's prestigious pantheon, Puerto Rico's Davila 666 is held in the same regard as King Khan and Black Lips, even sounding kinda Ramones-ish at times. Its debut self-titled release is on the label that can do no wrong, In the Red. Expect an onslaught of guitar fuzz, jangle, and theatrics, sung entirely en Español!
Co-headlining for the night is the Midwest's own Mannequin Men. Read more »